Iran Releases Washington Post Journalist Jason Rezaian

Updated: May 1, 2019


Jason Rezaian and his journalist wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested at their home in Tehran in July 2014. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post journalist imprisoned in Iran for more than a year, has been released along with three other dual-nationality prisoners as Tehran prepares to implement a historic nuclear agreement with Western leaders. The move is believed to be part of a prisoner swap with the US.


The closed-door trial of Rezaian began in May when he appeared before a hardline judge on charges of espionage, collecting confidential information, and spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic.


The 39-year-old, who holds dual Iranian-American citizenship, was arrested at his home in Tehran in July 2014 along with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist, and two Iranian-American friends. The friends were released shortly after their arrest, while Salehi was released on bail in October and is facing a separate trial.


The Post reporter was held on unspecified charges for more than seven months before appearing in court. He was kept incommunicado for most of his time in jail, with little access to his lawyers and family.


Two of the other prisoners released with Rezaian are believed to be former marine Amir Hekmati and pastor Saeed Abedini. Hekmati was jailed in 2011.


Iran does not recognize dual citizenship and treated Rezaian as an Iranian. Intelligence authorities in the country have a deep suspicion of dual citizens and have arrested a number in recent years.


The country also has a history of jailing journalists working for the foreign press. Those previously jailed include Maziar Bahari, whose ordeal in prison was the subject of